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Medical Ethics Series: Polio  

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Polio Resource Links

A list of interesting and helpful links to polio information


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The Savior of a Generation

"Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?" - Jonas Salk, 1914-1995
[On being asked who owned the patent on his polio vaccine.]


Polio in Houston

From 1962.  A doctor and nurse administer polio vaccine at a Houston Colt .45s game.  The late 50s and early 60s saw a Houston-wide effort to knock out this devastating disease.

Image courtesy of The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Collection IC 04, Harris County Medical Society records, box Victory Over Polio.


Polio in Art

Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth

Wyeth painted his neighbor, Christina Olson, in a field near her home in 1948. Olson was a victim of paralytic poliomyelitis.

Image courtesy


Good Reads from Our Catalog

Cover Art
Polio - David M. Oshinsky
Call Number: WC 555 O82p 2005
ISBN: 9780195152944
Publication Date: 2005-04-12
Here David Oshinsky tells the gripping story of the polio terror and of the intense effort to find a cure, from the March of Dimes to the discovery of the Salk and Sabin vaccines--and beyond.

Cover Art
Splendid Solution - Jeffrey Kluger
Call Number: WZ 100 S171k 2004
ISBN: 0399152164
Publication Date: 2005-01-27
The riveting story of one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of the twentieth century, from the coauthor of the #1 New York Timesbestseller Apollo 13. With rivalries, reversals, and a race against time, the struggle to eradicate polio is one of the great tales of modern history.

Cover Art
Great Feuds in Medicine - Hal Hellman
Call Number: WZ 55 H477G 2001
ISBN: 0471347574
Publication Date: 2001-02-16
"An exciting, well-researched work, which should appeal to anyone with an interest in the nature and progress of the human race." -American Scientist The cataclysmic clash of medical ideas and personalities comes to colorful life.

Cover Art
The Polio Years in Texas - Heather Green Wooten
Call Number: WC 555 W918p 2009
ISBN: 9781603441407
Publication Date: 2009-10-25
From the 1930s to the 1950s, in response to the rising epidemic of paralytic poliomyelitis (polio), Texas researchers led a wave of discoveries in virology, rehabilitative therapies, and the modern intensive care unit that transformed the field nationally.

Cover Art
A Summer Plague - Tony Gould
Call Number: WC 555 G698S 1995
ISBN: 0300062923
Publication Date: 1995-07-26
A comprehensive account of the polio epidemic in the West, from the first major outbreak in New York in 1916 to post-polio syndrome, combining biographical, political, social, and microbiological perspectives and focusing on key individuals, such as President Roosevelt, Jonas Salk, and Sister Elizabeth Kenny.




This project has been funded in part with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN-276-2011-00007-C with the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library.


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